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A Piece of Red Yarn: Parts 5&6

Two more parts!

Characters: Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Molly/Arthur, Tonks/Remus with a dash of Bill/Fleur
Rating: PG-13 (for heavy snogging)


Part Five:

Molly Weasley slept more soundly that night than she had in months. She had her first grandchild on the way. Her baby boy was sleeping upstairs in his own bed. Her baby girl had headed upstairs with a truly happy smile on her face. Harry and Hermione were both safe, well fed and taken care of; and her two youngest children were in love. She had seen Ron as he helped Hermione off with her cloak, and the way he held her hand as they sat at the dinner table, each eating one-handed. That was quite an accomplishment, she smiled sleepily; any woman who could slow down Ronald’s eating truly had his heart. Molly knew what war did to young people in love, it had happened to her. She could not deny them what had been the source of her own joy in a time of such uncertainty.

Molly snuggled into Arthur’s shoulder and pulled the covers close around her. Her home was more complete now, and it brought her a peace that only a mother could know. Almost a grandmother, she thought and nearly laughed out loud. Arthur shifted and threw a familiar arm over her, and she thought again what a wonderful father he had been to their children. Molly drifted off finally with visions of her husband bouncing Bill’s child on his knee, maybe even walking his daughter down the aisle.

~*~

Ron lay stiffly in his bed, he had beaten his pillow half a dozen times, but it still was not working. Strange, he thought, that his own bed was no longer the comfort that it always had been, that his own home could ever feel incomplete. Through the eerie glow of the snow covered world that came through the window, he caught Harry’s gaze. Harry had his glasses on and was wearing the same look on his face that Ron knew was on his own. He gave his best mate a swift nod, Harry sprang quickly and quietly from the camp bed, stood, and with a slight turn and soft pop, disappeared.

Ron sighed in the darkness waiting for the second pop that would be Hermione. He wondered if he would ever be able to sleep without her by his side. A shudder ran through his body as he thought how dangerous this quest had been, and would continue to be for all of them. He wouldn’t think of it now, he would not dwell on the idea that she might someday be gone. There would not be a world without her love for him, he would not allow it. With a slightly sickening resignation, Ron suddenly understood, in a deep abiding way, why it was that Harry’s father had stood before Voldemort and died first.

~*~

Harry Apparated into Ginny’s room, and gave Hermione a silent nod, as Ginny’s eyes grew wide. Hermione stood immediately and was gone. Ginny opened her mouth to speak, and Harry was quickly at her bedside, a gentle finger on her lips. She kissed his finger softly, and shifted over in her bed, pulling the covers down to allow him to slip beneath them. She reached up and removed his glasses, and placed them on the bedside table, before slipping into his arms and kissing him. She was so warm and solid, her body pressed against the length of his; this was not a dream.

He kissed her softly, gently; his lips lingering on hers, before moving to her forehead, her eyes, her cheeks, her chin. He wrapped her tighter in his arms, holding her. He relished in her scent, the soft flannel of her nightgown, the gentle curve of her waist beneath his palm. She was and would always be his hope, his heart in so many dark nights and dangerous days. He wanted to burn her into his mind to keep her always this close to him. His hands moved slowly, savoring her body as her lips opened beneath his. This was not the mad rush that had overwhelmed him in the back room of the shop, or at the end of the lane earlier that night. This was a slow deliberate memorization of the way it felt to be this close to her. This was feeling how much he loved her, letting her feel it, giving themselves both some peace in the midst of the utter madness that was the world outside.

~*~

This was something they had never done before, and Ginny could not understand why. They had fallen asleep together on couches in the common room, yes, and in the sun warmed grass by the lake, but this was different. Then they had just been touching, maybe loosely coiled together, but now Harry was clinging to her. This was the brilliant closeness of life: to feel his heart beating against her own, to feel his calloused fingers on her skin, to explore his mouth slowly and taste love. She would not need to count tonight. There was no way that she would sleep; she did not want a single moment to be lost. His fingers laced through hers, then freed themselves to twist through her hair. The warmth of his cheek beneath her fingers, the scent of soap on his neck, the heat of his body pressed against hers.

Her lips found his again, warm and soft, as Harry pulled her closer to him once more. If there was a tomorrow, a day after all of this pain and waiting, then she knew how she would spend it. She would be in Harry’s arms. She would spend the rest of her life just being with Harry, in every way she could. Every night she would sleep within his grasp, and there would be no fear of closing her eyes, no fear of a tomorrow that would not come. Her lips pressed harder against his, drinking him in. Her hands wandered the strength of his back, his shoulders, pulling him so tightly to her as if she could shelter him from it all in her arms. There will be a tomorrow, she thought as she kissed him, we will have forever, we will, we will, we will.

~*~

How could he sleep, Hermione thought, with her unruly hair in his face? Probably the same way she found it comforting to have his warm breath whispering a soft rhythm against the skin of her neck. They had ended up sleeping like spoons; he had snored last night when he was on his back. She smiled, this was a delightful compromise. She felt his chest rise and fall against her. His arm was cinched tightly around her waist. It reminded her oddly, of the protective way that Bill had held his hands over Fleur’s stomach.

Here in his arms, with his breath in her hair, with such tangible evidence of life, she could imagine more Christmases. Maybe there would be one where Ron would be the one with an announcement to make about a new Weasley on the way. Here and now she could feel safe enough to look farther ahead, without allowing the fear that she lived with daily to seep in. Here was her comfort, wherever Ron was could be home. She only hoped that she would always have his arms to come home to.

~*~

Arthur lay awake listening to Molly breath. How many years had it been? How many years had he shared this bed with the quick tempered and big hearted, not to mention beautiful, woman who slept soundly beside him? Each of those years had been a precious gift. He thought back to the beginning, their marriage in the midst of war, raising six children in the midst of chaos. Arthur remembered holding Molly as she sobbed for the loss of her brothers, and how she had cried every time she looked at their own twins after. It had taken her weeks to hold back her tears. He wondered sometimes if that was the reason that Fred and George had made it their greatest ambition to make people laugh.

And then, when his baby girl was barely two months old, suddenly, they were free. Maybe the sweetness of those thirteen years without war had softened them. No, Arthur thought, it was because his children were fighting this war was what had made it so much more unbearable than the last time round. He could no longer protect them. Even Ginny who was still underage was in grave danger. Danger he could do nothing to stop. He has seen her eyes alight with happiness; the love that he had seen so many times in Molly’s gazes was there when she looked at Harry. Even if she never set foot out of the safety of the Burrow, she was still in danger of living out the rest of her life with a broken heart.




Part Six:

Tonks glanced over at the sleeping form of Remus Lupin in a chair pushed near the dying fire. He had tried so hard to stay awake for her shift on watch. She smiled as she took in his face, slightly less lined as he slept. He had dozed off around midnight. It had only been a week since the full moon, and she knew that he was still recovering from his transformation. She could see through the frosted window that the sky was beginning to lighten. She gazed thoughtfully up the steps, wondering if she should go up with a warning.

She had heard the muffled Apparition pops after Molly and Arthur had retired, and had good idea what was going on upstairs. Well, she would not presume to guess what exactly was happening in the two youngest Weasleys’ bedrooms, but she knew that there had most likely been some alterations to the sleeping arrangements. She heard a soft pop that was followed a few moments later by another, and sighed with relief. It seems that they had sorted things out, and none too soon since Molly and Arthur’s door opened directly after.

~*~

Molly Weasley woke early, as she had every Christmas morning since Bill was one year old. She looked over at her still sleeping husband, and slipped out of her bed in the way that years of practice told her would not wake him from his slumber. There was a light snow falling outside. A perfect Christmas morning, she thought to herself, as perfect as it could be with all her clock’s hands still pointing at “mortal peril.” But she would ignore that clock and its brash warnings today. She wrapped her house coat around her in the winter morning chill of the Burrow, and walked out into her living room and the pile of presents at the foot of the tree. She smiled at Tonks and the sleeping Remus, and with a few quick waves of her wand, banished all the gifts to the bed of their respective owners. With a quiet smirk to Tonks, Molly sent Remus’ gifts straight to his lap, which woke the man with a start.

“Good morning Remus, Happy Christmas,” Molly sang out just before she and Tonks dissolved into giggles. Lupin grumbled something incoherent and began rubbing a crick in his neck, knocking his stuffed rabbit to the floor. Molly headed to the kitchen to get some breakfast started before Arthur or the children woke up and called back to Lupin, “I told you not to sleep in that chair, Remus!”

~*~

Arthur Weasley woke to the sound of his Christmas presents appearing at the foot of the bed that he had shared with his wife for almost thirty years. He hadn’t been woken up by screams, so he decided that Molly had not realized that Harry and Hermione had exchanged rooms last night in favor of being with his two youngest children. Arthur himself had chosen just not to think too much about what the difference in the sleeping arrangements might imply. Well, Ron he was right chuffed for; but Ginny, well when it came to his baby girl he would just remember that Harry was the most likely way that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named would be defeated and just not think about anything but the completely honorable intentions that he was sure the Boy Who Lived had for his only daughter.

Instead, at the moment, Arthur decided that he would open his presents and hope that Hermione had managed to find some wonderfully complex Muggle gadget for him. He set aside the twins’ gift, thinking that he might wait until Molly had returned with her wand before opening it. It was always wise to have back up in situations like this, he thought as he tore into his first gift.

~*~

Remus set his gifts gently on the floor beside his chair, not chancing a look at his still giggling girlfriend. The Marauders would have loved her, he thought with a twinge of mixed pride and sadness; and James would never have let him push her away for so long. He stood and stretched his stiff limbs, and Tonks was suddenly pressed against him with her arms wrapped tightly around his waist.

“No more sleeping in chairs,” she smiled up at him as he lowered his arms from above his head to circle her shoulders. “You’re not a young pup anymore, Moony.” She winked saucily up at him and the vigor of a much younger wolf kicked in. In a flash, Remus had nearly tossed her back onto the couch and was hovering over her with a very predatory gleam in his eye. He chuckled at the shocked look in her eyes as the flush on her cheeks gave away her enjoyment of the situation.

“What’s wrong, Nymphadora?” He was savoring this moment, while listening for the telltale sound of Weasley feet on the stairs, “Those Auror reflexes not quite up to snuff first thing in the morning?” He dipped his head down and lightly nibbled her neck.

“Oh, I think you know full well my reflexes can be spot on first thing on the morning.” Tonk’s voice was a husky whisper in his ear, and Remus growled against her neck.

~*~

Harry had passed Hermione in the hall way. They had all waited until they heard the sounds of the rest of the house stirring before venturing out of the bedrooms that they had started the night in. Harry now stood outside of Ginny’s bedroom holding a smallish square box wrapped in golden paper. He thought back to the first time he had seen this door, barely cracked open, her bright brown eyes peering out at him, and smiled. It was a bittersweet smile, and he willed the sadness off of his face. There would be time enough; he had to let himself believe that, even if it was just for today.

He cracked the door and caught Ginny in the process of tearing into a gift. She had a childish look of glee on her face as she sat in the middle of her bed surrounded by scraps of different colored paper and ribbons. Harry caught his breath, his heart wrenched in his chest, and he wanted nothing more than to see the joy of a hundred Christmases pass over her face, see their children tear into paper with that same wild abandon. It was as if a Time Turner had spun forward in his mind showing him every hope and dream he had never dared to let himself dream, and then just as quickly he was back standing in her doorway. Ginny looked up at him and smiled.

~*~

Hermione sat on Ron’s bed, leaning back into the warmth of his arms. She was gasping in wonder at the open box in her hands. She slowly lifted the silver chain and the locket that hung from it caught the light of the rising sun. She was, for one rare moment in her life, speechless. It was a silver heart engraved with the Gryffindor crest on one side and set with a small ruby in the center of the other. She felt tears coming to her eyes as she sighed softly.

“You like it?” Ron whispered in her ear, a little uncertainly. His arms were wound round her waist and he pulled her closer to his chest. She could not find the words to answer him. She did not ever want to know how much this had cost Ron, or where he had gotten the Galleons for it. “I thought that you should have it, because you figured out where Slytherin’s locket was before any of us, and you are braver than you think you are, and because you are beautiful and you deserve to have beautiful things, and well, because I love you.” His words had come tumbling out in a rushed whisper against her neck.

“I love it, Ron. It’s beautiful.” Hermione leaned back and turned her head to feel Ron’s lips pressed softly to hers. She pulled back just enough to whisper, “I love you, too,” before kissing him again.

~*~

Ginny pushed a pile of shredded wrapping paper out of the way to make room for Harry on her bed. She had looked up to find him staring at her from her doorway. Harry’s face held a look she could not quite name, but Ginny seemed to understand exactly what he was feeling as she motioned him over to sit next to her. He sat and offered her the small package in his hands; looking, for the first time in so long, a little uncertain.

“I hope you like it,” Harry gazed down at the box in her hands, before meeting her eyes. “I wanted it to be something special. I am pretty sure there isn’t another one like it.”

“It’s from you Harry, there isn’t anything more special than that.” Ginny slipped a finger under the fine gold paper and unwrapped the package slowly, giving it much more delicate handling than any of her other gifts. She wanted to savor this moment. The moment of not knowing, waiting to be surprised; this was a moment that should be treasured. She freed the little square box and then slowly lifted the lid. There, nestled in tissue paper, lay a silver bracelet with a single golden charm. She looked closer and her eyes widened in amazement. “Is that? Are those? Harry! It’s a Snitch!”

“Well,” Harry seemed relieved at her response and began to explain, “I asked them to make a bracelet from the wings and put the heart in the center.” Ginny lifted the bracelet to look at it more closely. It was indeed the filament-thin silver wings from a snitch attached to a small gold heart-shaped charm and secured in a circle with a silver clasp at the tips of the wings. The heart was engraved with three numbers: one four two.

“Oh Harry,” Ginny tried not to let tears fill her eyes as she spoke. “It is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Ginny opened the clasp, and gasped as the wings sprang to life. The bracelet fluttered up between them quickly but unsteadily under the different weight of the charm. Ginny’s hand closed almost immediately over Harry’s as they both reached out and grabbed the escaping bracelet.

“I told them to leave the charm on the wings.” Harry smiled as he helped her to wrap the struggling wings around her wrist and close the clasp. He looked back up at her and his gaze seemed to deepen as he went on, “We are both still Seekers after all.”

~*~

“Ugh! Get a bloody room!” Bill called from the stairs and then chuckled madly, his wide smile stretching the scars on his face as he watched Remus and Tonks hurriedly right themselves on the couch. This was the randiest Christmas he had ever borne witness to; and unfortunately for him, his wife was in the upstairs loo retching with morning sickness.

“They were all taken,” Tonks shot back as she straightened her shirt and Moony cleared his throat. Bill just rolled his eyes and made his way to the kitchen on a good husband’s mission for tea and dry toast.


A/N: Part seven may be a bit longer of a wait and I do appologize for that, but I would hate for my quality to suffer for the sake of quanity. Thanks for all the feedback!

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 5th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
Perfect!
This fic is perfect so far. I love the tiny bits of insight into the true feelings of each character. Their emotions are expressed perfectly. From my standpoint you depiction of a guy's point of view is spot on! I will wait as long as necessary to see your next part, I would hate to see you dream rushed. Thank you once again!

Spellcaster
ladytory
Sep. 5th, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Perfect!
You are sooo sweet! Thanks for the feedback and the encouragement. I have started a bit on part seven, but I am only about 400 words in atm. I will post it as soon as I feel comfortable with the finished project.
jandjsalmon
Sep. 5th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
I love it... of course! The shifting between couples as they snuggled their loved ones... PERFECT. I really felt what they were feeling and it felt so real to form. Loved it! I'm waiting patiently (and that's saying a lot for old impatient me) for the next bit.

It turned out quite a bit longer than a 1-shot didn't it! ;)
ladytory
Sep. 5th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
I am trying to use my day off to work on part seven like a good little fanfic writer so hopfully it will not be a horribly long wait.
jandjsalmon
Sep. 7th, 2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
Well... we all just have to be a little patient. (Though I admit that isn't one of my strong suits! :) )
weasleegirl
Oct. 1st, 2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
Tissues needed
WF here~ Just wanted to comment that I cried 3 different times within those 2 chappies! Once during Arthur's section, another when Ron gave Hermione the necklace and once again when Harry gave Ginny the snitch bracelet! Wasn't gonna comment til I read all 8 chapters, but I couldn't stop myself~ Well done!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )